Townie Tidbits

Sometimes you just walk  into a good thing

  A good story is often hard to find, especially when you operate on a weekly deadline. There’s always plenty of bad stuff out there to comment on but good stuff not so much. I still laugh when I remember the name of a monthly newspaper over in Mission Hill, called the Good News. It lasted less than year because the editors could find enough  material to keep going positive on a monthly basis.

Usually, when it comes to Charlestown, the print and broadcast media is more than ready to spurt out those stories on violence or failure. Townies get stereotyped now almost more than ever thanks to all these Hollywood movies about the community’s underbelly.

In my commentaries here, I try and show the goodness and strength that has always been the foundation of Charlestown. We here are not a perfect community but we are also not a killing field. Dysfunction is part of the human experience. Some of us learn from it while others drown in it. Then of late, Hollywood comes along to spread the dark side of life and with a Charlestown attitude and accent.

   Last Friday morning after my usual ritual of getting a vanilla latte,skim milk and whipped cream at Zumes where they always know my name like Cheers, I noticed a tent being set-up outside the Charlestown branch of the Cooperative Bank. I found this week’s column by walking into it along the sidewalk on Main Street.

    A large crowd of Charlestown youth were there explaining the “Turn It Around” campaign. Their purpose was clear. They were campaigning around the issues of prescription drug abuse and they were also seeking donations for those homeless folks displaced by the shuttering of the Long Island shelter.

   Kudos to the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, an organized community effort that springs from  the MGH-Bunker HIll HealthCare Center dealing with aspects of community life that cannot be ignored.

    Thanks to  all the folks from the MGH health center and CSAC-a ray of hope,Charlestown is facing up directly in dealing with substance abuse issues that can tear down the fabric of neighborhoods and family life.

  Charlestown has always had issues of substance abuse. It is hardly a new health crisis. However, what is new is a community now willing to stand up loud and clear to do something positive in fighting this communal pathology. Denying there is an issue won’t make it disappear.

  It seems Charlestown continues to be capable of finding those who will stand up and lead. It is a generational legacy that continues to live and grow.

    Charlestown is also blessed in having outspoken women in the community who refuse to be silent on substance abuse. The group of young people outside the bank last Saturday is a testament to the future of Charlestown.

   As I spoke with Sarah Coughlin, the director of the substance abuse coalition and to Shannon Lundin and observed the energy of all the young people representing CSAC, I knew this was a positive story that needs to be shared with all across the Charlestown community.

     Townies don’t play pretend. They stand up for one another and the community that means so much to each and everyone of them.

    Townies never run from fights, they take them on and when it comes to the substance abuse, this is a fight that cannot be lost. When it comes to drugs, this is a fight that cannot be lost and with Townies fighting together, it will not lose this battle.

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